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Cythraul Commoner | joined 25 August 2005 | 6 posts


Spoilerful question about the trilogy's end posted 27 January 2006 in Author Q & ASpoilerful question about the trilogy's end by Cythraul, Commoner

This is an EXCEEDINGLY SPOILERFUL discussion of THE ENDING.

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The short of this post is that the ending of The Thousandfold Thought left me dissatisfied and unhappy, yet I'm presuming to use 'Scott'. My intent is to avoid the cold distance of 'Mr. Bakker'. I loved the books, and I loved Scott's writing, but the ending bothered me.

On the one hand, I never got the sense that Scott was particularly interested in leaving his audience happy. Thrilled, terrified, excited, and breathless, but not happy. On the other... at the same time, without contradiction... I somehow grew convinced that the darkness was only to brighten the dawn. But, no - in the end, we achieved nothing of worth.

The apparent best hope for Earwa sits at the peak of his power, and seems well on track to unite all men under his banner. But I never found myself caring about Earwa. I realise Scott must care about Earwa, or he wouldn't have spent decades writing there, but it didn't come through in the books, for me. I found it to be a horrible place full of horrible people. (I would concede that the real world is also a horrible place full of horrible people, but I'd contend that it's also a wonderful place full of wonderful people - if that latter is true of Earwa, then we never saw it.) So, seeing Kellhus victorious to save it is a lot to swallow.

In the end, I didn't care about Earwa, I cared about Achamian. To my mind, he, and no other, was the hero of the story.

I have a sneaking suspicion that you would consider Achamian regaining Esmenet to be a cheap and easy ending, and consider his final renunciation of her as a more profound victory - a liberation. I'm conjecturing here, of course.

But if that's all he gained, then, over the course of the trilogy, he gained nothing. At the start, he didn't have her. In the end, he has neither her nor himself. And, given the hate that Achamian himself mentions in the final Compendium excerpt, I doubt he'd disagree with me.

What's more, it seemed like the reward of Esmenet was dangled in front of us. To have Esmenet leave with Achamian during that final scene would have been glorious - even audacious. It had been set up earlier - Esmenet seemed, at last, to be free of Kellhus's spell. She feared to leave him, but in a final scene you're allowed more leeway with your panache - it would have been perfectly reasonable, to my mind, for her to walk out with him.

And, so, ultimately, my question is 'why?' Why keep Esmenet from Achamian?

Scott's said that The Aspect-Emperor will be set many years after the trilogy. Do I dare hope that both will still be alive, and that Scott will show more mercy with us regarding them?

"You're an angry fan with an unjustified sense of entitlement, and no answer will satisfy you," would be a reasonable response, and I'd not be offended. But I don't believe that's the case. If there are angles I've missed, nuances I'm overlooking, then I'd be happy to listen. view post


Spoilerful question about the trilogy's end posted 28 January 2006 in Author Q & ASpoilerful question about the trilogy's end by Cythraul, Commoner

This is a war story about the rise of a master manipulator. I'm not sure it's fair to generalize from the story to Earwa as a whole.


Which is fair. See my point about the possibility of good in Earwa, despite it not showing through. But, again, the effect is that it's hard to get attached to such a place, since the atrocity is all we see. (And the atrocity really was all we saw. There was no sunshine that didn't fall on horror, no snow that didn't get stained red.)

Seeing the good of a character we (read: I) truly cared about sacrificed to save a place that I merely intellectually understood I ought to care about (but which seldom failed to turn my stomach) wasn't satisfying. Probably intellectually correct, but not satisfying.

As for Esmenet and Achamian, their story is far from over.


Tell me that shouldn't fill me with dread. Then pull the other one. <!-- s:wink: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_wink.gif" alt=":wink:" title="Wink" /><!-- s:wink: -->

Or if you find it easier to identify with ideal types, rather than psychologically complicated characters, you will think no one is 'likable.'


I'm trying to keep this from turning into a laundry list of which items in that (examples) list worked for me (most did). But I think you may be missing something with this very point. The issue wasn't the lack of likeable characters - the issue was that the likeable characters got short shrift. The darker the surrounding seas, the more tightly we (again, read: I) cling to what buoys there are.

The story is compelling. Despite my misgivings, despite my disappointment, I will read the books that will follow. I probably couldn't read them today - I wouldn't have the belly for it - but (and here's where you get to cackle triumphantly) the story's too good to give up on.

And the list goes on and on.


Of course. <!-- s:) --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_smile.gif" alt=":)" title="Smile" /><!-- s:) --> And you've got so much going on in the books, you're going to draw in readers with so many different perspectives, that every step is going to make someone unhappy. I assume you're curiuos about who and how, or you wouldn't bother with a forum like this. (I also realise you invite a world of aggravation, and I'm trying not to add to it. I'm familiar with the image of an author opening a vein into his typewriter.) view post


Spoilerful question about the trilogy's end posted 08 February 2006 in Author Q &amp; ASpoilerful question about the trilogy's end by Cythraul, Commoner

suggest that our idyllic pictures of humans 'living in harmony with each and nature' are romantic tripe.


No one's asking for harmony here. (Well, no one's really /asking/ anything - I, for one, am following up on my gut reaction, while fending off the spectre of Comic Book Guy.)

To be fair, I'm naturally bringing huge biases to the table - despite my attempts at a Heinlein-ish balance, I'm far more likely to err on the side of the romantic.

I certainly had fun! The thin crowd isn't a terrible surprise, given the weather. The new Bakka-Phoenix location is a pain to get to by public transit... I'm waiting to see if my friend will be willing to let me pass the pictures along; I only got to see them on the back of the camera, but they looked good to me. (The low camera angle makes those pics look positively mountainous.) view post


Spoilerful question about the trilogy's end posted 08 February 2006 in Author Q &amp; ASpoilerful question about the trilogy's end by Cythraul, Commoner

.... where by "those pics", I of course mean "those stacks of books". view post


Back-er or Bake-er? posted 24 February 2006 in Author Q &amp; ABack-er or Bake-er? by Cythraul, Commoner

I think I overheard him say "Bake-er" at the TTT signing... view post


Back-er or Bake-er? posted 02 March 2006 in Author Q &amp; ABack-er or Bake-er? by Cythraul, Commoner

A blessing in disguise, from a publicity perspective - "Richard Bakker" would be even easier to confuse with "Robert Bakker"... view post


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